Saturday, January 5, 2013

Direct Mail "Common Sense" Tips

Consider Your Audience
Before you sharpen those pencils or fire up the Adobe suite, think about who will ultimately be reading your piece and how it will affect your design. What is important to this demographic? Is it security, speed, savings, or something else? Ultimately, all buying decisions are either the result of a fear of loss or a hope of gain. Identify that hope or fear for your product/service and start building from there.

Make it Personal
With variable data printing technologies rapidly advancing, the cost to customize your printed pieces is decreasing and the set-up is becoming easier. Think about what you know about your target recipient. What was their last purchase? When is their birthday? Married? Children? Income? All of these scenarios can be built into variable graphics, text, or even contact methods depending on the data you have.

Work the Envelope
We see some wonderfully designed pieces that are then folded and placed in bland envelopes. If your goal is to be overlooked...then ignore your envelope. For the rest of us, consider unique papers or continue your design onto the envelope. Suter Printng can print, fold, and glue any style of envelope you can imagine. Don't forget about's the first thing your customer will see.

Help Them Reach You
Make sure you are including multiple contact methods. QR codes offer great options for mobile devices, but make sure you include contact options for the less tech savvy. If using pURL's or online contact forms make sure they are compatible with multiple internet browsers and handheld devices.

Be the BIG (or small) Guy
Imagine what your finished piece is going to look like stacked in a home or office mailbox.  Consider using an oversized postcard that could almost wrap around everything else delivered that day. With some of the new programs from the USPS you can mail a postcard up to 12" by 15". If going with a smaller printed piece, consider the thickness of the stock you are using and if it will hold up against the rest of the competition for mailbox space.

Think Touchy Feely
Even if your design is destined for the garbage can...your customer will at least have to touch it. Incorporating a unique print or paper effect can attract just enough attention to earn that second glance. With our UV capabilities we can added numerous textures to accentuate your finished piece. Also consider some tree-free printing options. These new substrates look like paper, but are waterproof, tear proof, and have a noticeable difference in texture.

BOLD images + BOLD headlines
Imagine your piece as though it were a billboard. At 70 miles per hour it can be difficult to read more than five or six words. Keep your message simple so that it can engage your audience quickly. Keep it simple.

Be Different ... Get Noticed
The average person receives more than forty-one pounds of mail per year. Your direct mail piece is battling for attention. A majority of people open their mail over the trash can.  It can seem difficult to come out ahead when it seems as though you only have ink and paper at your disposal.

Ask your Suter Printing representative for ideas and don't be afraid to experiment. However, try not to change too many variables at a time so that you can measure how your changes affect your ROI.

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